CULHAM CUT FOOTBRIDGE
James Dredge calls this "Occupation Bridge". Bridges so called were usually between two parts of an estate
which had been divided by a canal (or in this case lock cut).
1884: Culham Lock Cut Footbridge, Henry Taunt -
Culham Lock Cut Footbridge, Henry Taunt, 1884
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; HT3880
1897: Occupation Bridge, Culham Cut, James Dredge -
Occupation Bridge, Culham Cut, James Dredge, 1897
© Oxfordshire County Council Photographic Archive; D230542a
Culham Lock Cut Footbridge
Culham Cut Footbridge. It is said there that there was another footbridge at the western end of the cut, removed in 1940. The old maps show a footbridge about halfway between the existing bridge and the western end of the cut.
2005: Culham Lock Footbridge, Doug Myers
1890: Culham Church, Francis Frith -
Culham Cut Upstream End, Left bank.
Going upstream keep well to the right.
Coming downstream, don't cut corner!
Wilts & Berks Canal, new junction
Left bank just above Culham Lock Cut turn.
1794: Act authorising the canal
1810: 51 miles of canal completed, Semington (on the Kennet & Avon near Trowbridge) to Abingdon.
1810-40: Heyday of the canal
1882: England Picturesque and Descriptive, by Joel Cook -
Through Oxfordshire is laid out one of those picturesque water-ways of the olden time
the Berks and Wilts Canal which, though almost superseded by the omnipresent railway,
still exists to furnish pretty scenery with its shady towing-paths and rustic swing-bridges.
Almost the only traffic that remains  to this canal, which comes out upon the Thames near Oxford, is carrying timber. The growth of English timber is slow, but some is still produced by the process of thinning the woods so as to make shapely trees, for otherwise the tall trunks would force themselves up almost without spreading branches.
Berks and Wilts Canal, Joel Cook, 1882
1901: Traffic ceased
1977: Wilts & Berks Canal Amenity Group (now The Wilts & Berks Canal Trust) founded to work towards restoration
2006: Official opening of 150 metre new cut towards the old canal (necessary because of development in Abingdon)
One day, maybe - there are many people working hard towards it - there will be an entry here into two circular routes -
a) to SWINDON and then up to CRICKLADE and back down the Thames and Severn Canal to LECHLADE and down river to ABINGDON
b) to SWINDON and on to TROWBRIDGE and then on the Kennet & Avon Canal to READING and back up river to ABINGDON
It is said that the proposed new reservoir (now cancelled) may use the canal as emergency overflow provision.
A small part of Abingdon's canal history has been reborn with the opening of a new 150-yard cut,
named the Jubilee Junction.
Running from the River Thames to the edge of a former gravel pit south of the town,
it is a key section of the project to reopen the old Wilts and Berks Canal, which closed in 1914.
The original link with the Thames was filled in 40 years ago.
A flotilla of craft sailed into the new cut this week to mark its opening.
Abingdon's mayor Peter Green and the vice-chairman of Sutton Courtenay Parish Council, Bill Hanks, cut a yellow ribbon, suspended from both banks. Mr Green said although it was only a small link, it was the start of an important leisure and economic development for the town. He said: "A reopened canal will bring important economic benefits to Abingdon and the Vale district. It will encourage leisure tourism, housing development and economic spin-offs." Project director Martin Buckland said: "The Kennet and Avon Canal reopened 10 years ago and since then has brought enormous economic benefits along its 60-mile stretch. "A recent Government report showed there had been £30m of economic activity, and almost a quarter was generated for Newbury. The same can happen once the Wilts and Berks Canal is operating again."
The Abingdon junction, costing almost £170,000, is another piece in the jigsaw of the ambitious project to reopen the Wilts and Berks Canal to boaters. The canal trust received a grant of £54,000 from the Inland Waterways Association, in celebration of its Diamond Jubilee, to construct the new junction. A further £45,000 was granted by Wren, which distributes landfill tax money. The Waterways Recovery Group and the canal trust put in £59,000. The Vale of White Horse District Council added £5,500 and Thames Water £5,000.
During July and August, contractors dug the new cut and volunteers built 380 metres of footpaths, with fishing platforms and seating for disabled people. The long-term aim is to create a new waterway running south of Abingdon, under Drayton Road and the A34, then rejoining the old route towards Grove, Uffington and Swindon, eventually running for 60 miles to meet the Kennet and Avon Canal, near Devizes. The plan to have the whole canal in use again by 2014, the 200th anniversary of its opening, could be delayed following a recent Government announcement of budget cuts at British Waterways and the Environment Agency.
Proposed Thames Reservoir UTMRD NOW REJECTED
1990: First suggestion. [ UTMRD = Upper Thames Major Resource Development ]
2006: New plans
2011: Start Construction (if approved at Public Enquiry)
2019? Construction was to have been completed
Between Steventon and East Hanney.
Three times the size of Farmoor Reservoir
Filling from the Thames in the winter, and emptying in the Summer to Oxfordshire and Swindon water by direct pipeline, but to London by releasing water back into the Thames. The intake/outfall would be via a tunnel reaching the river at Culham Reach opposite Culham Lock Cut. The actual pumping required would be done near the reservoir site.
Rejected Upper Thames Major Resource Development [Reservoir!] - Concept
Plans for a £1bn reservoir in Oxfordshire to supply more than eight million people over the next 25 years
have been rejected by the government.
Thames Water wanted to build a site on four square miles of land near Abingdon to help ensure future demand is met. The bid went to a public inquiry but the secretary of state said there was "no immediate need" for such a site.
Thames Water said it would look at developing plans for a smaller reservoir at Abingdon.
In a statement the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said:
"The secretary of state [Caroline Spelman] has accepted all of the recommendations included in the planning inspector's report. The report included a number of complex recommendations that require a significant amount of further work on the part of Thames Water."
Defra said Thames Water had been told to scrap the current plan and consider a proposal for a smaller reservoir.